The screening of a documentary following the fortunes of a yeshiva boy and girl who leave the fold, followed by a panel discussion by former haredim such as author Yochi Brandeis, mark the first Awareness Day dedicated to yetzia l'she'ela, the term used to describe defection from orthodoxy. The screening of Between Two Worlds and the discussion will take place at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque on Monday at 7.
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The event is sponsored by Hillel, a non-profit organization that helps former haredim transition to mainstream Israeli life. Hillel has declared Awareness Day to bring to public attention the difficulties facing haredim upon leaving their communities, such as excommunication from their families, lack of secular education, and lack of social and economic support. Hillel director Rina Ofir says it is also meant to clarify the group's mission, which has sometimes been perceived as an organization hostile to religion.
"We are not missionaries. Some people think that we go out and encourage people to leave their communities, when in fact we are opposed to that. We assist people who make the choice to leave their communities. If we didn't help them, many would end up on the street."
Tickets at Hillel: Tel: 1700-707073. For more info: www.hillel.org.il